Posts tagged ‘gardening’

Changed our frost zone…

to 2-3 after looking at a more detailed map from the local Extention Service (which can be seen here). Downtown, closer to the Inlet, it is zone 4. We are colder due to our elevation on Hillside. It’s very evident in the spring and fall – there is at least a two week “lag time” – our leaves bud out 2 wks later than those lower than us and our leaves change color about 2 wks sooner. It takes 2 wks long, at least, for our snow to leave also, etc. It sure does cause me envy to be seeing people in “town” mowing their lawns, turning dirt in their gardens, having bulbs bloom, etc. so much sooner than us. 😐 Oh well. I get over it every year too… 😉

I added a new link for garden help too specially aimed at AK gardeners but could also be useful for others in cool/cold zones. (In the sidebar under Sites for Garden Help.) Have fun!

**2004 Harvest**

Thinking about the new garden season ahead made me realize I hadn’t wrapped up blogging about last years…

**2004 Harvest**

Wild Blueberries – 16 oz.

Raspberries – 41 oz.

Peas – Oregon Sugar Pod (24 oz.)

Garden Bean – Blue Lake (32 oz.)

Zucchini Squash – Black Beauty (4 zucs apprx. 2lbs each, 2 zuc apprx. 1lb each)

Turnip – Purple Top White Globe(10)

Rhubarb – 4 gallons

Radish – Cherry Belle (31)

Potatoes – approx. 2 dozen medium to very small

Cauliflower – Snowball X (4 small heads)

What’s Growing…Established

Front Yard –


Rhubarb (7)

Lilac (1)

Back Yard –

Crabapple Tree (1)

Braeburn Apple seedling (3)

Lilac (1)

Strawberries – domestic and wild


Hollyhock blooming!

Finally, finally, finally! One plant has had three buds on it that have been big and looking like they would open any day for about 2 weeks now. I haven’t been spending much time outside as it’s been awfully rainy lately…so I suspect this one probably opened a day or two ago. Just beginning to spread it’s lovely light pink and white petals! 🙂

Garden Update

The garden is ok. We pulled a cauliflower. The flowers were starting to grow uneven but I was waiting hoping it would “fill out” more. It never did and the stalks got kinda “woody.” Oh well. We steamed and ate it anyway.

My tomato plants decide to flower out nicely and there are many green ones of various sizes out there. Not as good a crop as last year due to my waiting too long to start them in the house…but at least we have some.

The corn is doing something!!! Despite being in pots. Two of the plants so far have “tassles.” They are really pushing it to produce “fruit” before the cold weather gets here…but I’m rooting for them!!

I took another zuc out – a small one this time as I caught a slug doing a number on it. We have a few more that medium to large that I’ll get in the next couple of days probably.

I noticed another of the potato plants has died so I’ll need to dig those potatoes up soon. Wish the rain would quit long enough for me to do it without getting wet…

Garden Update

Ok, three days later I brave the spiders for the first official picking of raspberries! A full 1 cup measure…8 oz. Not much…but there are a bunch more still ripening! 🙂

Dug up the second of our four potato plants…the leaves on this one had all wilted and turned yellow too. Approx. the same amount of potatoes and sizes as the last one.

The pea plant leaves have begun to turn also. I found only two more pea pods…so I guess they are done. Disappointing. A handful more plants than last year but not much more “fruit” to speak of. Hmm.

Berry season is upon us. Planning to go up the mountain tomorrow afternoon/evening – hopefully.

Happy Gardening…while it lasts! 😉

Garden Update +

I found the first ripe raspberry last night! Mmmm, was it good! 🙂 Gave baby his first taste ever! He thought it quite sour…oh, the puckered lips!…but he asked for more. 😉

I didn’t venture too far into the patch as two rather large webs caught my eye… I’m arachniphobic. Seriously dislike spiders. With our recent warm summers (anyone catch the PBS show on the warming trend in AK?) and looong daylight hours, we are starting to grow mongo bugs around here. (You should have seen the catapillar dd2 came home with the other day! It was at least 3 inches long and as big around as my middle finger! It escaped before we could take it’s pic or I’d show you. 😉 ) Last year, I found a *huge* spider in the patch and that’s part of the reason I didn’t pick as much (along with it being terribly over grown and not producing well, etc). Well, I’ve let it get over grown again but this time I had done some heavy pruning in the Spring so from where I was standing it looks like the patch has done well this year despite the jungle it became. I caught sight of the spider that made them…it’s big too and the same kind that freaked me out a few days ago above our deck.

I went out late one evening to put the chickies in their carrier for the night and happened to catch a glimpse of a blob above my head off to the right. I had been knocking down webs every morning attached to the railing or the clothesline but hadn’t seen the culprit yet. Ugh!!! Was it gross! I changed my mind about the chickens and came in exclaiming to the family and everyone had to rush and see except dh…he :rolleye: his eyes (figuratively)…until the children told him how big it was. Then, after he saw it it was deemed worthy enough to have it’s pic taken! LOL

Anyway, that was the first. A couple days later, the same kind and almost as big was found in one of the playhouses. Oldest dd tried knocking it down to step on it but lost it in the grass. Last night, a third was found above the front porch and then I found a fourth in the patch. This morning I found a fifth in the other playhouse. I think they are surrounding us for an attack!!! (Actually, dh teased me that the one above the deck was trying to catch me since I inevidibly caught part of the web in my hair every morning… :-P)

So this morning, I put the chickies in the playhouse the children refused to play in as I wanted to move the other to a new place. Discovered both spiders and decided to give the chickies a snack. (evil grin) So, I took the hose and knocked down the spider in the empty playhouse and then grabbed the largest pullet and set her in there close to it…she spied it and gobbled it lickety split.

Chickens 1 Spiders 0


Took her back to the other playhouse, knocked that spider down with the rake but that one laid still and didn’t catch the attention of the chickies. So, I pushed back the grass and wiggled the stick I was using a tad and the chickies came to investigate. The Silver Laced caught it but was slow to gobble so the pullet I used previously snatched it out of her mouth and dropped it in the feed dish to be sure it was ediable and then yum-yum! (another evil grin) So, the score should now be:

Miriam (name of that chickie ;-)) 2 Spiders 0

We are now devising ways to catch the other spiders and get them into the feed dish. >:-) So far there are no volunteers to do the actual deed but there sure is a lot of nominating going on! 😉

Back to actual gardening news…

I picked the first two zucs yesterday. Yum-Yum! Sauted one with some of the fresh bushbeans and some garlic cloves in butter with a dash of salt and pepper. The children were standing around begging for some out of the pan like it was candy! 🙂

Gardening will be wrapping up here soon. The weather has been rainy and the temps have turned cooler. We’ve been seeing yellow leaves drop occasionally and there is a tree out back of our property that has several now. I think they mostly started turning because of the heat and lack of rain we were having…but now… The Fireweed is just about done blooming and the grasses have their seed heads.

Blueberries should be ready soon considering the above…

Happy Gardening…and Harvesting…until next time!

Garden Update

Sunday and yesterday we picked our first and second turnips respectively. Mmmm, they were good! Ate both raw (sliced) and the greens for lunch and dinner on both days.

A tiny cauliflower was noticed on Sun. About the size of the tip of pinky then. About the size of a quarter now.

Tomatoes are blooming like crazy!

*Lots* of pea pods noticed (but not counted) of various sizes.

Still getting squash blossoms and there are a handful of little squash appearing so far.

The few radishes that are left will be ready to pick in a couple of days.

Cute little skinny bush beans are appearing.

Some of the hollyhocks are getting big…about 6 inches now.

Potatoes seem to be hanging in there…some of the other leaves are beginning to look yellowish though…hmmm.

The one older lettuce plant is doing well and we used a few leaves Sun. for our sandwiches. The other two are coming along sloooowly…

Mint is doing great as are the raspberries. New garlic is too.

Geraniums finally blooming! 🙂

“Corn is as high as an elephants eye!” (from the muscial Oklahoma…correct?! momentary loss of memory…but I can hear the song in my head! 😉 ) Ok, not really but it’s big for one who hasn’t grown it before…especially for being in pots I think. Don’t know where this is going but enjoying the journey! 🙂

All I can think of or have time for at the moment…

Happy Gardening ’til next time! 🙂

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